McCoy on Movies: Poms

McCoy on Movies: Poms

by -

While the cast is something to cheer about, does this film squander its talented stars on a clichéd comedy that disrespects the demographic it's trying to celebrate? See what our critic has to say.

“All right ladies … Let’s get to the climatic inspiring dance number or we don’t have a movie!” Martha (Diane Keaton, center in the “M”) leads her fellow retirement community friends in a dance routine in a scene from POMS. Credit: Kyle Bono Kaplan © 2019 STX Financing, LLC. All rights reserved.


WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:



 

 

 




KEY CAST MEMBERS: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Alisha Boe, Phyllis Somerville, Charlie Tahan, Bruce McGill, Celia Weston and Rhea Perlman 


DIRECTOR(S): Zara Hayes
 
THE BACK STORY: Martha (Diane Keaton) is a woman coming to grips with her own mortality, which, given her health, makes sense. It’s also why after conducting an estate sale, she’s heading to a seemingly idyllic Sun Springs retirement community in Georgia to spend her final days in peace and quiet.


Then she meets her neighbor Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) and realizes that’s not going to happen.


Forging an unexpected friendship with Sheryl, Martha comes up with an idea – since she’s required to join or create one by her new community’s bylaws – to form a cheerleading club. This leads to Ruby (Carol Sutton), Olive (Pam Grier), Alice (Rhea Perlman), Phyllis (Patricia French), Evelyn (Ginny McCool) and Helen (Phyllis Somerville) joining their aspiring – or is that perspiring? – team, even if it is to the disdain of community activities leader Vicki (Celia Watson). And if Vicki has to pull out Chief Carl (Bruce McGill) to get her way, she will in a heartbeat. 


But after a video of Martha’s makeshift squad goes viral, they are faced with a choice: Give up on their dreams or prove that you’re never too old to show your spirit.
THE REVIEW: Poms isn’t a good movie, per se; it’s a sweet movie with a good heart and a few chuckles along the way. At 91 minutes, it’s short enough to sit through without feeling a strong urge to leave the theater, but it’s nothing you’re going to revel in. It’s nowhere near raunchy by any means to steer into ribald comedy territory, but it has enough anatomy related jokes that will be dirty enough for anyone who regularly dines at an Old Country Buffet or Cracker Barrel. Likewise, the movie’s pacing and story feels like a mix of a too tame for The Golden Girls but too hardcore for Lifetime or CBS, which, given all the sadness it shows in regards to getting older before attempting to salvage a genuinely uplifting, “nice” finale, Poms doesn’t seem to have a specific enough focus to make you feel the way you should.Then again, Poms isn’t really for anyone under the senior circuit – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s perfect palatable celluloid for daughters to take their mothers to or for seniors to enjoy as the characters (especially Weaver as the film’s resident sexpot/free spirit) are exactly like the members of your mom’s bridge or book club that may or may not exist. Poms isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel; it’s just putting a fresh batch of grease on the wheel to give it one last ride.

Weaver steals the show in Poms; Keaton is more or less the straight woman who serves to keep the movie moving forward. Her character mopes, suffers through bouts of vomiting and feels like she’s just a lady you feel sad for and sad to be around for the first half of the film; problem is, once things get going, you don’t care about her as much as you do how she will get the rest of her squad going as they are inherently more interesting … Even though your interest may never peak with a paint-by-numbers script saved only by the cast’s genuine enthusiasm for each other’s company. Alisha Boe and Charlie Tahan add some youthful exuberance to as Martha’s high school cheerleader rival turned coach and Sheryl’s awkward grandson add some much needed youthful exuberance (to the somewhat stale script, NOT the cast), but only in the way a grandparent is proud of them graduating high school.

And ultimately, that’s the main thing that hinders Poms: Instead of going for its full potential with a game-changing break from the routine, it gives you a safe one sure to please audiences who enjoy a nice, simple one they are used to. Poms will occasionally rub your funny bone, but you definitely won’t fall over laughing and will be able to get up and leave the theater easily once it’s done.

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 
 
Tabari McCoy
Columnist - Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. An award-winning stand-up comedian who also works as the public relations director at Cincinnati Museum Center, Tabari McCoy is the creator of McCoy on Movies, a blog about movies for film fans. The blog is written by someone who also likes movies that is smart enough to know his opinion isn't always the right one but is willing to express that opinion in public. McCoy also used to review movies for his college paper and a major metropolitan publication, so that helps add to his "street cred." Contact him at tmccoy@cincychic.com. You can also check out more of his work on his blog at McCoyonMovies.BlogSpot.com and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy.

SIMILAR ARTICLES